The aircraft with registration PH-EMW took off from Eindhoven Airport for a local flight. On board were the pilot and an aircraft mechanic. Approximately 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot noticed small engine vibrations and power fluctuations. The mechanic on board believed that the power fluctuation was caused by the Full Authority Engine Control (FADEC) controlling the RPM by varying the propeller pitch. The engine power decreased rapidly and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing. Although both occupants applied maximum braking power they could not prevent that the aircraft went through a ditch. All three landing gears broke off and the aircraft came to rest. Both occupants left the aircraft uninjured. Besides the landing gears the (wooden) propeller blades were also broken.
Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
The engine is fully controlled by the Full Authority Engine Control (FADEC). A correct connection between the engine and the FADEC is essential for the engine operation. The power fluctuations were most likely caused by damaged engine (loom) connectors which caused intermittent electrical contacts between the engine and the FADEC. The influence of the intermittent contacts of the different connector pins was not investigated in detail.
During previous maintenance the manufacturer instructions were not followed. A FADEC was installed upside down and the connectors, that are designed to be installed using hand force only, were damaged as a result of forces applied with a wrench. The damage to the connectors was not noticed when another FADEC was installed in the aircraft.
Besides this report, a Dutch summary has been published.